Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products Network

Due to the great biodiversity of southern Africa, increased capacity in natural products research has the potential to strengthen food security, public health, and value-added exports. The SABINA network trains both PhD and MSc scientists through research on the biochemistry and chemistry of natural products, including bioinformatics as an essential tool for data management and the elucidation of structure and function. Research focuses on increasing the understanding of useful plants and fungi (such as mushrooms, seaweeds, and tea crops) through the study of screening assays, biosynthetic pathways, gene expression, modes of action, synthetic production and genetic diversity.
Updates on Recent Network Activities


Q&A with the New SABINA Students

PhD graduate Dr. Benjamin Kumwenda, Prof. Oleg Reva, and Prof. Derek Litthauer published an article entitled: "Analysis of genomic rearrangements, horizontal gene transfer and role of plasmids in the evolution of industrial important Thermus species." The article was published in BMC Genomics in September 2014. Link here.
Prof. Oleg Reva and PhD student Ms. Liberata Mwita attended a bioinformatics conference in France from 5-11 September 2014.
MSc student Ms. Hatago Stuurmann (based at University of Namibia) is currently visiting the lab of Dr. Dalu Mancama at the CSIR in South Africa to conduct experiments for her master's project.
The new SABINA project manager was appointed. Mrs. Jessika Naidoo was appointed on 1 September 2014.
SABINA supervisors Prof. Charles de Koning, Dr. Dalu Mancama, Dr. Vinesh Maharaj and Prof Zeno Apostolides and SABINA students Ms. Jean Dam, Mr. Jimmy Sumani, Mr. Kennedy Ngwira, Ms. Liberata Mwita, Ms. Pelly Malebe and Mr. Tinotenda Shoko met with SIG Program Associate Sarah Rich and Editorial Consultant Alan Anderson to share updates on their research and their experiences in the network.
SABINA Leaders
Project Manager
Mrs. Jessika Naidoo
Support Scientist, African Centre for Gene Technologies, South Africa
Dr. Mourice Monjerezi, Department of Chemistry
University of Malawi: Chancellor College
Prof. Charles de Koning, Department of Chemistry
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Prof. Martha Kandawa-Schulz, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Namibia

Dr. Quintino Mgani, Department of Chemistry
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dr. Albert G. Changaya, Director
Tea Research Foundation of Central Africa, Malawi
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